Easter Sunday is coming, and families all across the United States are busy making preparations. Many will purchase new church clothes, spend time with family, eat a big meal after church, take family pictures, and hunt Easter eggs. All of these activities require preparation. You’ve got to shop for new clothes, coordinate calendars, plan the big meal, and purchase plastic eggs. If you’re really on top of your game, you might even squeeze in a creepy picture with your kids and a grown man in a rabbit costume.
In the midst of all this preparation, I hope you don’t forget to plan and prepare for church. Churches will be more crowded than normal for Easter, but they will be filled with people who are preoccupied with new clothes, the ham in the oven, and the best places to hide Easter eggs. I’m not telling you to wear old clothes on Easter. I’m not telling you to eat peanut-butter and jelly for Easter lunch. I’m not telling you to call off the egg hunt. I am asking you to plan and prepare for the church service you will attend on Easter Sunday. If that seems like a daunting task, here are a few suggestions:
- Spend time reading the Scriptures. Holy Week is a great time to re-read the Easter story. Read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Meditate on Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15. Anticipate the final resurrection by reading Revelation 20-22. Spend time in the Word, reading and meditating on the reason we celebrate Easter, and do it before you go to church.
- Spend time in silence, solitude, and confession. For most, Easter weekend is a whirlwind of activity. There’s nothing wrong with activity and busyness, but busyness does tend to dull our spiritual senses and distract us from spiritual things. Take time this week to be quiet. Be alone, and turn your phone off. Spend time confessing sin in preparation for Easter worship.
- Spend time in focused prayer. Easter weekend is an important time in the life of any church. Pray for your pastor as he prepares to preach about the Resurrection. Pray for the unbelievers and the unchurched families who will attend your church on Easter. Pray for missionaries who are far from home preaching the good news. Spend time praying for Easter Sunday at your church.
I hope Easter Sunday is a great day for you, your family, and your church. I hope you can turn off “Martha” and spend a few moments of “Mary” time at the Lord’s feet. I hope you will be intentional about preparing for this important day of worship. And, I hope your spiritual preparation for Easter Sunday will become routine preparation for worship on every Lord’s Day.